Steven was standing in between two skips at a recycling centre run by Lowmac Alloys Ltd when a shovel loader weighing more than 18 tonnes hit one of the skips, pushing it towards the other and crushing him between them.
Graham screamed for help but the driver of the shovel loader did not hear him at first and carried on driving. He received a broken pelvis and other severe injuries in the accident, which took place in 2009.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had not properly risk assessed traffic management at their site in Ayr and had not provided and that there were no barriers or road markings to separate pedestrian workers from the shovel loader or other vehicles on site. The investigation also found that the shovel loader was too big for the area where it was operating, and that the drivers had never been formally trained, were not supervised, and had been given no training at all on health and safety issues.
The one portable toilet on site was found to be unhygienic with no running water. Several of the employees told HSE inspectors that the toilet was so filthy they preferred to urinate in the yard, and this was a practice accepted by management. It was this situation that led to Graham being in between the skips.
“Mr Graham suffered horrendous injuries that will affect him for the rest of his life – but this incident was entirely avoidable,” said HSE Inspector Aileen Jardine. “If Lowmac had taken simple steps to protect their staff, carrying out a proper risk assessment and taking measures to separate employees from the heavy vehicles that operated on site, this would not have happened.
“And if the company had shown basic consideration for the welfare of their employees by providing a toilet that was fit to use, Mr Graham would not have been left in such a vulnerable position.”
Lowmac Alloys Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974, and were yesterday fined Ã‚Â£80,000.